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Case Number 24670: Small Claims Court

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Basket Case 3: The Progeny

Synapse // 1991 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // October 17th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Daryl Loomis' family reunions are a lot like this.

The Charge

It's time to build a bigger basket.

The Case

In case you missed the original 1982 cult classic from Frank Henenlotter (Bad Biology), Basket Case is a little story about a young man named Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck, Brain Damage) who carries a wicker basket around that contains his separated and deformed conjoined twin named Belial. The separation was not consensual and Belial takes revenge on those he blames. In 1990, Henenlotter directed a sequel where Duane and Belial find their long lost aunt, who takes them in and cares for them. Two years later, he released a final installment of the epic saga, Basket Case 3: The Progeny, which arrives on DVD from Synapse.

These days, Duane and Belial lead a pretty happy life with Granny Ruth (Annie Ross, Witchery) and the family of freaks. Belial even has a girlfriend and they've just discovered that the lucky girl is pregnant. They're pretty sure of what's coming, so the family loads up into a bus and heads south to find Uncle Hal (Dan Biggers, Elizabethtown) who knows a doctor who can help to safely deliver the "baby." When twelve of these creatures emerge, they're so happy that they throw a huge party. When the county sheriff finds out what's going on, though, he arrests Duane and steals the kids, leading to a confrontation with people he never dreamed could exist.

The first two Basket Case movies were fun, but had an overlying darkness to them that worked well with their cheapness to make some strange and memorable cult cinema. Basket Case 3: The Progeny, on the other hand, is basically a Monster Mash, where every kind of crazy creature attends a huge party, and there's some kind of plot wrapped around that. It doesn't make the movie less fun, but it does strip away any of the disturbed nature the earlier films had.

There's plenty of violence, with Belial eating faces and breaking things, but humor is really the name of the game this time around. When you have thirty or so monsters of various types, from those with multiple arms to monsters with massive teeth to hammerheaded freaks all dancing at a house party, it's pretty hard to take anything very seriously. The kill scenes are met with laughs most of the time, and there's no real danger at any point for any of the main characters. The monsters are the good guys and the police are the villains, so there's not a whole lot of horror going on. That's okay, though, because Frank Henenlotter always mixes the grotesque with laughs and, while this is my least favorite of the series, it's still a worthy entry that has plenty of fun to offer.

The DVD for Basket Case 3 from Synapse, unfortunately, is not up to the label's normal high standards, though it isn't technically poor. The transfer is decent, with few transfer errors and a minimum of dirt on the print. The stereo mix is free of noise, with a little differentiation in the channels, though not a whole lot. The only extra is a trailer which, given the label's track record of quality supplements, is the most disappointing part.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny is exactly what it pretends to be and nothing more. It's the silliest and least violent of the series, but if you want to see a creature family reunion in a southern mansion and a whole bunch of latex makeup, it's all here in spades. It's not a great film, but it's definitely a fun one.

The Verdict

Case dismissed.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Synapse
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1991
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genres:
• Comedy
• Cult
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer

Accomplices

• IMDb








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